Matthew Phiong and Koekoe Loo shared a big dream: They wanted to start their own business, and they wanted it to be all about cats.
Since they knew the Internet is made of cats, they presented a proposal for their feline-focused venture at Start-Up Chile 2012, a government-funded program to attract world-class entrepreneurs in the early stages of their development, in hopes that they will start their business in Chile. The team got the go-ahead to pitch their idea in September, and I guess they got what they needed: Catmoji went live on December 24, 2012.
Catmoji is a photo-sharing community “built by cat lovers, for cat lovers,” which works a lot like Pinterest — users can create profiles, share cat pictures and videos, and comment or give feedback in the form of “emoji,” the Japanese variation of Western emoticons.
The site is so cat-focused, in fact, that each user in the “catmunity” creates a catvatar rather than an avatar, partly to show what kind of cat you are and what kind of cat you like best.
“The Internet loves cats, we also love cats, and cats make people happy,” say Phiong and Loo. “Our mission is to make the Internet a better and happier place with cats.”
They figure they’ll be able to start making money once they get more than a few thousand users, and they’re probably right. The cat market is huge, and if Catmoji takes off, cat brands will be clamoring to work with the site and get their products in front of people who frequently buy stuff for cats.
I’ve already requested an invitation because, hey, I need more ways to waste time — er, I mean, more proactively market my blog — on the Internet.